If you’re like most moms, your morning starts with a cup of coffee (or tea) and begins before the first child is even awake. How you start your day sets the tone for the rest of the day. Why not focus on yourself first thing in the morning?

Here are three ways you can start off on the right foot.

just breathe^

Yoga lovers know this secret – how you breathe affects how you feel. Pour your morning cup of coffee or tea, set it on the table to cool and close your eyes. Exhale completely, then take a deep breath and just hold it for a moment, focusing on how energizing it feels. Exhale and repeat several times. Deep breathing is a great way to wake up your senses. How many other times during the day can you really focus just on your breathing? Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN Nurse Practitioner, says,  "So often, women make time for everyone else, rising to meet the demands of others before they nurture themselves. Learning how to breathe more fully and deeply is a very small but vital way to honor yourself and your miraculous life."

three things^

Your to-do list is a mile long, and some days you just want to throw it away. Rather than use quiet morning time to re-hash your list, focus on finding three things you would feel good about accomplishing.

Not grocery shopping, mopping the floor or folding the laundry – think things just for you. Plan a quick phone call to a friend, sign up for that 5K race you’ve been pondering or post a few vacation photos to your Facebook page.

Your to-do list will still hound you, but you will get a feeling of accomplishment from doing a little something for yourself.

CONNECT - BRIEFLY^

Use five minutes of your morning me time to check in with your social network. A quick review of your Facebook feed lets you feel connected with friends all around the globe. Why only five minutes? Facebook, Twitter and other social networks can become a huge time suck, especially if you click on links to articles and start commenting on pictures. Do a brief scan to see what’s happening, maybe even leave a brief message on an old friend’s wall. These brief connections bring a sense of community to your day, even if you may be stuck at home with a sick toddler.

Give yourself the gift of a few minutes each morning — what a great way to start your day.

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